Thursday, June 16, 2011

Longevity Varies by County

This according to an article in The Washington Post yesterday.  The story, by reporter David Brown, is here.  One would think that if longevity varies by county, it probably varies by city and town.

The article contains an interactive map, from which I drew this data:
For Men Middlesex County Ranked 36th
For Women Middlesex County Ranked 53rd
That would be 77.3 years for men and 81.4 years for women.

Overall, the top US county for men was Fairfax County, Virginia (81.1 years).  For women it was "Collier County , Fla., which includes Naples (86 years)".  The lowest numbers were for Holmes County, Mississippi, which was 65.9 years for men and 73.5 years for women.

The depressing part of the article is the lede and the second paragraph:
Large swaths of the United States are showing decreasing or stagnating life expectancy even as the nation’s overall longevity trend has continued upwards, according to a county-by-county study of life expectancy over two decades.

In one-quarter of the country, girls born today may live shorter lives than their mothers, and the country as a whole is falling behind other industrialized nations in the march toward longer life, according to the study.
My question is to what extent this is due to the increasing number of single parent families and other impediments to passing on successful life skills?

As this Congressional Budget Office Graphic shows, in 2020 Federal health care spending will be chewing up more than a quarter of the Federal budget.  With interest it will be 41% of the budget.  That is a big chunk.

As a side note, one of the research team leaders is a Dr Christopher J. L. Murray.  He used to be at Harvard University, but was lured to the University of Washington in Seattle by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

I found this on a tip from someone living in Southeast Asia.  The Internet is a wonderful thing.

Regards  —  Cliff

1 comment:

nealcroz said...

Interesting dialog, but what is the expert trying to sell? It would sound as if this guy is one a roll for the "we have to change the national health care system" group. As if by putting government in charge of one more program is going to make the program better....especially since they've done such a blue ribbon job with other national programs and needs.

Moreover, saying that in some places young women will not live longer than their mothers, while a sensational statement evoking surprise...and yes...concern.....ignores some plausible if not even obvious possible explanations, many if not most of which have nothing to do with the delivery of medical care. If you go to the inner cities of the east, you will likely find a number of young women who use illegal and even legal drugs...and that it appears "epidemic" in those areas is only so because of the clustering effect of population. Not saying its not problem, it certainly is...but it is NOT the result of poor medicine.

The clever use of information is a convenient means of deceit. Imagine the conclusions we could draw from the period 1941 - 1945 when the number of young male deaths soared by engaging in acts of violence (and actually, many of the unfortunate deaths of the period were from training accidents, disease, and suicide....but nobody wants to use THOSE figures).

Not saying that there are not serious problems in our society that need to be addressed. There are....but lets at least address them in their own context...not as a means to an end for some other issue.

There is absolutely nothing more dangerous than a degreed expert with an agenda.